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Indian American in Forbes top 12 CEO exits of '09

business Updated: Dec 17, 2009 11:19 IST

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Ramani Ayer, Indian American chief of debt-ridden Hartford Financial Services, is one of the 12 high profile CEOs who left their companies in 2009, according to Forbes.

Others on the list include bailed out auto major General Motors' head Rick Wagoner and troubled insurance giant AIG's chief Edward Liddy.

Many of the American entities, whose chiefs left their companies this year, had received federal bailout funds at the peak of financial crisis, according to the US magazine's list of the top 12 CEO Departures of 2009.

"Many of them ran companies that took federal aid. Others made a fortune when they sold their companies. One may have mishandled data that was tied to his company's most promising product," Forbes said.

In June Ramani Ayer, who had led Hartford Financial Services Group for 12 years, announced he would step down from his post by the year's end.

"Ayer was responsible for the company's push into riskier versions of variable annuities-life insurance contracts whose value fluctuates with that of underlying securities," Forbes said.

In March, Moody's Investors Services had downgraded Hartford's long-term senior debt to one level above junk status, citing the company's exposure to these products.

The company later received $3.4 billion in government aid. In October it named Liam McGee, who ran consumer banking at Bank of America, as its new chief executive.

Edward Liddy came out of retirement to lead troubled insurance giant AIG in Sep 2008, then faced hostile questioning from the Congress over bonuses and had to step down. Robert Benmosche, a former chief executive at MetLife Inc, replaced Liddy in August.

On March 29, the Obama administration axed General Motors Chief Executive Rick Wagoner as part of the company's eventual bankruptcy.